The first gambling house called Ridotto was opened in Sicily in the XVII century. It was a high-stakes house not unlike luxurious Vegas casinos today, where most of the clients are rich. Many of the casino games we play today have been invented in a primitive form in Italy – the list includes bingo, baccarat, backgammon, and biribi, a primitive form of lottery.
Even today, gambling is highly popular in Italy, although strictly controlled. Any operator that seeks to offer its games to Italians must obtain a license from the ADM (Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli), which regulates all gambling and betting operations in Italy.
What is the ADM?
The ADM is the highest regulatory body for gambling in Italy that awards licenses to prospective gaming operators and oversees their operations. Gambling is still illegal under Italian criminal law, although it excludes skill and luck-based games. The law does permit bingo, lotteries, sports betting, and other activities to be played in Italy, but only if the operators have been granted an ADM license.
Before 2000, gambling was completely illegal in Italy. However, the industry was gradually liberalized since then. Until 2014, the ADM was known as AAMS and was responsible for issuing licenses and regulating the gambling sector. Since changing its name to ADM, this new body oversees all gambling activities in Italy and also grants licenses to prospective gaming operators and online gambling sites.
Even after its formation, Italy was pretty strict about gaming licenses, with the ADM issuing different licenses for different types of games in limited numbers.